Migrated from previous website on 1-Jan-2012
Last updated: 15-Sep-14
Sep14: University of Sydney Veterinary School Dean's Commemorative Award recipients 2014
Dec13: University of Sydney Union Dave Burnett Clubs and Societies Awards 2013
Nov13: University of Sydney Veterinary Commemorative Award in memory of David
Oct13: JCA Dave Burnett LDP Scholar announced
Mar13: ROI and AJF's Dave Grants announced
Mar13: JCA Dave Burnett Fund grant extensions for 2013
Mar13: Jo-Anne Hurwitz/Steve Gandel Engagement donation to Dave Burnett Fund
David had his 22nd birthday on the very day he left Sydney to commence his ill-fated trip. Following a week in Melbourne at a student leadership conference, he left for Israel where he served as a volunteer group leader (“Madrich”) on a Taglit Birthright Israel program (http://www.birthrightisrael.com/) , leading a group of 40 High School, “gap” and University students for six weeks as they travelled throughout Israel on a combined history, cultural and heritage tour. Following successful completion of this commitment, he made a brief trip to the famous historical town of Petra, Jordan, where he had intended to stay for two days before commencing his trip homewards.
On the afternoon of 22nd January 2008 (local time) (Tu B'shvat 5768), he died at Petra. Initial details of the accident in which Dave died are on the public record at:
Eye-witness accounts describe how a cliff-top ledge collapsed under him while he was standing at the Corinthian Tomb, Petra, plummeting him to his death on rocks some 20 metres below.
Further information on the accident and the community's response can be found at:
(note: some of these URLs have been archived and may no longer be accessible)
David had just completed and graduated BA (History) last October as part of his Arts-Law combined degree, and was still contemplating undertaking an Honours program in History. As a keen student of history his trip to Petra had been intended to be the closing highlight of his trip, following which he was to have returned home a few days later.
Dave was a major contributor to many facets of Community and University life, and served as NSW President and National Vice-President of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students AUJS (http://www.aujs.com.au/), as a Board member on the Shalom Institute (http://www.shalom.edu.au/), on the Executive Committee of the SRC (http://www.src.usyd.edu.au/), as a Board Director of the University of Sydney Union USU (http://www.usydunion.com/), and as a Convenor of NSW Young Labor (http://www.australianyounglabor.com.au/home.htm). His extraordinary vision, enthusiasm, energy and contributions to a better society had been recognised through a number of honours, including being the first Australian recipient of a Charlie Award (http://www.schusterman.org/).
His eulogy and the obituary can be found at (but note that there are minor errors in the printed articles, in that the correct dates for David's life are 1985-2008):
http://www.usyd.edu.au/alumni/about/vales/david_burnett.shtml (now moved to:
His many thousands of friends have created a memorial page on the Facebook social networking site:
and ROI120 (http://www.roi120.com/) have made a memorial video in his honour:
A formal Commemorative Tribute to Dave was held on 2nd March 2008 in the presence of the Chancellor of the University (Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW) on behalf of the Senate of the University, the University of Sydney Union, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), and Young Labor.
At this Tribute, the establishment of a Memorial Foundation was announced in Dave's memory, to continue the work he was doing for our community:
The Dave Burnett Fund was launched on the 18th (“chai”) week anniversary of his death: http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=5727
For those who wish to know more about this Memorial Fund, further information is available from <email@example.com> or at http://www.aujs.com.au.
The consecration of David’s grave took place at Macquarie Park Cemetery, Sydney, on 28th September 2008.
A memorial garden and plaque have also been placed in his memory by his friends at Kiryat Shmonah, Israel. (See photo of garden and plaque)
For those wishing to visit the garden in Israel, the address is:
Alayim Office, 511 Olei Ha-Gardom St, Kiryat Shmona.
Contact information for the Director of the Office is:
The memorial garden is in front of the apartment complex directly opposite this address.
The Google Maps location of this address is:
עולי הגרדום 511, קרית שמונה, Israel
Since his death, a number of commemorative activities have taken place. These include:
- In April 2008, funds were donated to purchase medical equipment for Keren Or (http://www.keren-or.org), a Centre for multi-handicapped blind children.
- In June and July 2008, tributes were organised by his friends in New York and (through ROI120) in Israel.
- In September 2008, AUJS held a fund-raising dinner at the MacLaurin Hall of the University of Sydney to announce and launch the AUJS Alumni Association, reuniting 60 years of AUJS student leaders (http://www.aujs.com.au/alumni/). This was to have been Dave’s next project, and the fund-raising proceeds of the night were donated to the Dave Burnett Fund.
- In November 2008, NSW Young Labor announced the creation of the Dave Burnett Memorial Award, to acknowledge and recognise young leaders who had displayed an outstanding commitment to social justice and multiculturalism in the community. The inaugural recipient of this Award was Kelly Xiao, who had worked closely with Dave in his “Dynamite Dave” election campaign for the University of Sydney Union, and which resulted in significant revitalisation of the University student services program.
- January 2009 marked the first Anniversary of Dave’s accident. We thank the many supporters of and donors to the Dave Burnett Fund, and we are pleased to announce that the Dave Burnett Fund has now raised $150,000. A Call for Submissions was issued in May, inviting community groups to propose projects to receive assistance from the Fund. A Trust Committee is in the process of evaluating the submission received, with the intention of announcing its first Grants and Scholarships in late August/early September 2009. These will be directed into those areas that will continue the direction and spirit of Dave’s contributions during his life.
- In February 2009, Killara High School (Dave’s former school) and the University of Sydney Union, held an inaugural Dave Burnett Leadership Day, designed to provide leadership training for outstanding students from the School.
- In July 2009, the University of Sydney Union received two commissioned Memorial Plaques in Dave’s honour, highlighting various aspects of his student contributions and leadership, including a display of memorabilia of his “Dynamite Dave - Hitting Union with a Bang” election campaign of 2007. The two Plaques were placed in the Boar’s Room of the Holme Building, and in the Manning Bar at Manning House.
- In August 2009, Killara High School convened a Leadership Induction Day, at which a presentation was made to the school of a Memorial Plaque in Dave’s honour. This Plaque will be placed in the Senior Students’ Common Room.
- In August 2009, the Dave Burnett Foundation announced the recipients of the JCA Dave Burnett Fund inaugural Grants. The Fund was overwhelmed with applications for its inaugural round of Funding support. More than 30 submission packs were sent out, which resulted in 12 formal submissions for funding, and with the total amount of funds requested exceeding the funds available by some 500%. Submissions were evaluated against a number of criteria that best met the specific purposes of the Fund, being the advancement of Jewish students in the areas of Leadership, or Education, or Politics, or Jewish identity. Three organisations received a Dave Burnett Fund inaugural Grant.
- In June 2010, the Sydney University Law School established the David Burnett Memorial Scholarships in Social Justice. These will be offered once per semester for students undertaking the Social Justice Clinical Course.
See: http://sydney.edu.au/law/cstudent/undergrad/docs_pdfs/SJCC_ScholarshipsInfo_2012.pdf , http://sydney.edu.au/law/fstudent/undergrad/scholarships.shtml
Recipients of the NSW Young Labor Dave Burnett Memorial Award:
- 2008: Kelly Xiao - for her work on developing dialogue and linkages between the Chinese community and the broader Australian community.
- 2009: Glen Falkenstein - for his work on University Campuses called SARAH (Students against Racism and Hatred)
Recipients of the JCA Dave Burnett Fund Grants:
- 2009: Three Grants were announced:
- NSW Board of Jewish Education (BJE): BJE Dave Burnett Jewish Student Network Leadership Initiative: 12 Scholarships
- Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS): AUJS Political Training Seminar (PTS): 15 subsidised Scholarships
- Hineni Youth and Welfare: Hineni Advanced Leadership and Ideology Seminar: Funding of speaker/8 subsidised Scholarships
- 2012: Five Grants were announced:
- Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS): Leadership Development Program (LDP): to establish a Scholarship (named in memory of Dave Burnett) supporting a young Jewish leader, who will receive on-site leadership training in various international diaspora communities. The recipient of the 2012 JCA Dave Burnett LDP Leadership Scholarship was Amie Liebowitz.
- Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS): Political Training Seminar (PTS): to support an annual political advocacy and training program for young Jewish leaders, held on-site in Canberra, the nation's capital.
- NSW Board of Jewish Education (BJE): Senior Leadership Camp Curriculum: to fund curriculum development for young Jewish youth leaders, to be held in a residential camp.
- NSW Board of Deputies: Young Labor/Young Liberal Shabbat dinners: to support annual Shabbat dinners, to which members of the Young Labor and Young Liberal political movement are invited, so as to expose them to Jewish culture and tradition, and to meet Jewish people of the same age and background.
- Shalom Institute: "Footsteps" program: To train through an intensive program up to 30 young community leaders who can run future Jewish youth movements and programs.
- 2013: Two Grants extensions were announced:
- Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS): Leadership Development Program (LDP): to establish a Scholarship (named in memory of Dave Burnett) supporting a young Jewish leader, who will receive on-site leadership training in various international diaspora communities. This Grant was renewed for 2013.
- Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS): Political Training Seminar (PTS): to support an annual political advocacy and training program for young Jewish leaders, held on-site in Canberra, the nation's capital. This Grant was renewed for 2013.
University of Sydney Union receives First Place in 2009 ACUMA Awards for the Dave Burnett Leadership Program:
- In October 2009, the University of Sydney Union won the Best Community Outreach Program award at the 2009 ACUMA Awards ceremony for the University Union’s “Dave Burnett Leadership Program”. ACUMA is the national professional association of Australian university unions. They meet annually to share ideas, develop professional skills and to reward excellence. The judges recognised the significant value offered both mentors and mentees under the Dave Burnett Leadership Program and were particularly pleased to see its application to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Recipients of the Sydney Law School David Burnett Memorial Scholarships in Social Justice:
- 2010, Semester 1: Ms Sadhana (Sadhie) Abayasekara, Ms Hannah Quadrio and Ms May Samali
- 2010, Semester 2: Ms Youn Ju Woo
- 2011: Ms Juliette O’Brien and Ms Claire McEvilly
- 2012: Ms Ella Alexander and Ms Emma Colenbrander
Schusterman Foundation/ROI Community/Australian Jewish Funders Network announce the "Dave Grants"
University of Sydney Union ("USU") introduces the "Dave Burnett Clubs and Societies Awards"
The University of Sydney Union (http://www.usuonline.com) has renamed its Clubs and Societies Awards, so that they will be known as the "Dave Burnett Clubs and
Societies Awards for Best Club and Society over/under 100 members". This change in name was in recognition of Dave's efforts and commitment during the time he was a Board Director of the USU towards supporting and expanding the Clubs and Societies Program of the University of Sydney. The C&S Program of the USU is now the largest such program in Australia. The inaugural Dave Burnett Clubs and Societies Awards were announced at the Annual "State of the Union" Dinner of USU on Friday 23 November 2012. The list of Award recipients will shortly be posted at :
- 2013: The winners of the USU Dave Burnett Clubs and Societies Awards were announced on 30 October 2013:
- Dave Burnett Award Club with More than 100 Members (Short Listed) - Medical Society, Movement and Dance Society, Wind Orchestra
- Dave Burnett Award Club with Fewer than 100 Members (Short Listed) - Queer Revue Society
Schusterman Foundation / ROI Community / Australian Jewish Funders Network - announce the first "Dave Grants" recipients
As noted above, in August 2012 the ROI/AJF "Dave Grants" program were announced. The first recipients of the Dave Grants will be:
- Isaiah Fellowship Retreat – a social justice retreat with the view to starting a fellowship like US-based Jeremiah (contact is via Jewish Aid Australia's CEO, Gary Samowitz)
- Jewish Leaders, Boards and Beyond – internship/mentorship program to train up-and-coming community leaders (contact is via Deon Kamien)
- The Jewish Innovation Hub – a Jewish hub for young innovators and social entrepreneurs that will make a crowdfunding platform available, host 'ideas' days and provide some guidance and support.
- Let my People Know– a go-to website for Jewish life, initially in Melbourne, but with plans to later become national
University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, Dean's Commemorative Award in memory of David Burnett
- 2014: Erin Grace, Dennis Woerde, Aaron Koey
Jo-Anne Hurwitz and Steve Gandel announce their engagement
On the occasion of the engagement of Jo and Steve the couple requested that, in lieu of engagement presents, friends and guests instead make a donation to the JCA Dave Burnett Fund in their name. More than 70 donations were received, which have increased the size of the Grant pool by some 5%.
Recipients of JCA Dave Burnett Leadership Development Program (LDP) Scholarship
This Award is announced each year by Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), as part of their successful Leadership Development Program (LDP)